As you are all aware, Tentsile is founded on something of a celebratory ethos – we enjoy the outdoors, we relish nature and the challenge of saving trees. We spiritedly elevate our imaginations off the ground as we proudly reach places no other tent can reach.
But sometimes nature is not always so welcoming. And here at Tentsile, we occasionally have to take on a more sombre tone, as some of the world’s challenges force us to recognise that playing and exploring is merely an extravagance for some, whilst others are faced with the realities of survival. We need to be mindful that there those who are not always as fortunate. And here, if we can, be proud that Tentsile, if anything at all, can be a tiny shining light of hope for those we can help. And for these people, we do what little we can.
In April of this year, two earthquakes hit Japan’s southern island of Kyushu; the first was a magnitude of 6.5, the second 7.3. These are not the biggest earthquakes in the history of Japan, but nonetheless were enormous enough to wreak devastation across the region, resulting in the death of 48 people so far, with a further 236 severely injured. Roads have been torn up and 1527 buildings pulled down. Conditions remain unstable, bringing uncertainty, fear and sorrow across the region of Kumamoto.
Approximately 50,000 people have been forced to live in emergency accommodation within 500 evacuation shelters across the district. And as clean-up efforts continue, our man out there in Japan, Hayato Jo, Tentsile Japan, has had little choice but to find refuge by creating himself a Tentsile shelter on the street. Not in the trees, but on the ground. Out of necessity. Out of desperation. But with hope. When all the other shelters are booked up, and there is no more space in the inn, Hayato has managed to cobble himself a place he can call home, for now. We hope not for too long.
And whilst we look at pictures coming in of the devastation, and whilst we see people living in accommodation they have scrabbled together, let’s please remember that for all of the frivolity we experience in the summer months, for all the fun we have jumping around in trees, camping next to lakes, picnicking with our children, slack-lining over canyons, there are those out there whose only focus is to be safe, to be together and to be warm. And as far as we can, Tentsile will endeavour to do its part.